European Voluntary Service

This is Pekarna's blog for EVS volunteers. Pekarna is a sending and hosting/receiving organisation for EVS volunteers and their volunteers (send and hosted ones) will keep you up to date about their work.

Evropska prostovoljska služba

Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor te vabi, da se tudi ti pridružiš množici prostovljcev/-k Evropske prostovoljne službe (EVS) in odpotuješ v organizacijo po svoji izbiri v drugo državo EU. Smo pošiljajoča in gostiteljska organizacija EVS, ki mladim od 17. in do 30. leta za obdobje največ enega leta uredi vse podrobnosti za brezskrbno in povsem brezplačno delovanje v tujini.
Evropska prostovoljna služba je del programa ERASMUS + Mladi v akciji.

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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Save the Village of Volunteers!

June is already beginning, that’s crazy how time flies down here: summer, which seemed so far when we first arrived, is now so close! And we can feel that the city is following this season; coffee shops are full and the flowers in the park have blossomed. To celebrate the end of the scholar year, lots of events have taken place on every part of Maribor.

One of them was particularly successful in my opinion: Prostovoljsko Mesto (Village of Volunteers). It happened during the week of Volunteering: local organizations participated, where people could attend different kinds of workshops, lectures and events and on Wednesday, all these NGOs gathered together in the main square. The concept was that every association had its own stand and had prepared a little game or activity for the audience. Every time kids arrived at the stands, they were given a notebook with an investigation to solve: to fill in the clues, they had to go to as many stands as possible, to collect stamps which would allow them to resolve the case and finally save the village of volunteers. Circus workshop, DJ, interviews from the “mayor of the volunteering village”, scientist games, team-building and creative games: everybody could find their favourite activity! 

With Sofia, our task was to build up a game that could adapt to different numbers of participants, different ages and that looked attractive from far (kids will not visit all stands, they will choose the more eye-catching). We made up our mind for “the volunteering snail”: instead of one big game, there would be 6 mini activities… First, the participants were invited to draw their idea of volunteering, then they had to write what they could offer (I can teach guitar, my good mood, I know a lot about gardening…) and what they would like to learn (a new language, a new competence…). After this reflexion phase, we had prepared some more active games: in a big bowl full of water was floating another smaller bowl. Kids and adults had to put stones in this little bowl, paying attention that the bowl doesn’t sink. For each stone that they put, they had to tell a word about volunteering. The next game was a memory game: they had to match actions (helping, teaching…) to images. In the next one, in bigger groups, they were proposed to try the “stick game”, where they had to collaborate and think “as a team” and not as an individual to succeed in their task. Finally, they could jump on our hopscotch snail, to end up with telling something that they learnt today. The game had quite a lot of success: our stand was busy almost all day! 

Actually I didn’t expect kids would be so focused, and will really take the time to think what they can bring and what they would love to receive. We also got amazing drawing about volunteering, and we were quite surprised that some children were so quickly efficient and collaborating during the stick game: we had already tried it during our on-arrival training and it took us much more time to stop putting the blame on the others! I realised that lots of young people were already quite familiar with volunteering and it was great that this day was meant as well for the discovery of volunteering, as well as a day of Joy for all the current volunteers, who could have fun together. Laughs, music and good mood created a convivial atmosphere, and the square became a lively place for meeting and cooperation. I’m really glad to see that these little and big events such as culinary or creative workshops and any kind of cultural events are enriching the life of the locals, that always have the opportunity to learn new skills or improve their knowledge, if they ask for it. I deeply think that these moments of sharing, collaborating and gathering together are continually constructing our happiness: They allow us to build connections with others, and being fullfilled personally.


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